Updated: August 20, 2016 3:03:48 pm
The Mumbai police on Friday arrested a driver attached with cab aggregator Uber for allegedly molesting a foreign national during a taxi ride from Bandra to Andheri on August 17.
The driver, identified as Shehbaaz, was suspended by Uber after the issue was raised by a friend of the woman who was molested.
According to a social media post put up by the friend of the victim, the expatriate, currently working in Mumbai, on Wednesday took an Uber from the friend’s house in the Pali Hill area of Bandra to Seven Bungalows in Andheri (West).
The post reads: “She asked us if Uber was safe and all of us jumped to assure her that she was in BOMBAY and she had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately we were proved wrong because this uber driver tried to molest her on their way to Versova.”
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As per the friend, when the woman got into the cab, Shehbaaz spoke to her in a friendly manner, asking her where she was from and making more small talk. “Later, he said that since the roads in Mumbai are horrible she was welcome to come sit in the passenger seat up front with him,” the post read.
The post added, “When she refused to move he complained about low visibility through his back screen and told her he was going to pull over to clean it. She was very uncomfortable but allowed him to stop to clean the screen. She was surprised when he came to the back seat under the pretext of cleaning the window from the inside and proceeded to put his hand on her thigh and tried to feel her up. She panicked and tried to push him off and only when she started shouting at him did he move off her and go back to his seat. She managed to jump off and get home safely.”
The woman who wrote the post eventually approached the Santacruz police station, where an FIR was registered against the accused person. Mumbai Police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe said that based on the complaint, they registered an FIR and arrested Shehbaaz.
The post on the social media platform Facebook, which was shared by several people, added, “ … what angers me is that this has happened in Bombay! I cannot believe this happened to my friend. This happens because there are no consequences!……I’m expecting Uber to deal with this in a way that scares any Uber driver from violating someone. While we are going to make an official police complaint, Uber needs to check the backgrounds of their drivers and have consequences…”
Last year, an Uber driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was sentenced to life imprisonment till his natural death for raping a woman executive in his taxi in Delhi in December 2014. An Uber spokesperson said, “Uber has a zero tolerance policy towards any sort of harassment or misconduct. We have suspended the driver from our platform and have shared all details related to the trip and the driver with the relevant authorities for official investigation.”
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